Little kisses, a friendly cow, just a minute

It’s hard to adequately convey what Delhi’s roads are like. Being driven around looking for Ganesha confirmed first impressions. There are few rules. Even the unspoken one of ‘no touching’ was twice ‘relaxed’ by my taxi driver who was completely sanguine about “little kisses”. Though he knew the size of his car down to the inch, others weren’t so exact. I know my riding/driving has caused some winces, but I sure was wincing today – “What goes around…”

It made me think twice about riding a bike so I looked into a coach tour of the ‘golden triangle’. But I was told over lunch at the rental shop, that Delhi traffic is exceptional.

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So after a wobble, I’ll probably stick to the plan and ride out toward Agra very, very early Saturday morning. Besides, this cow licked my hand in the street today, much to the amusement of passers-by. Though they’re more taboo than sacred, I took it as a good omen.

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There’s another temple to Ganesha on the road to Agra, a second opportunity to touch base with the big feller after visiting him today and overtaking an elephant plodding his way through traffic. You learn something every day, and today’s factoid was the cost of hiring an elephant for a ceremony in the centre of Delhi: about £900 quid but that’s going to be negotiable, practically every price here is.

After a few attempts, I reckon the silent haggle’s the most fun. That requires only facial expressions and body language, and diverts the conversation away from negotiation. It sounds strange, but today, hesitation, repetition and deviation alone prompted a 40% discount, though it took considerably longer than a minute.

– Happy New Year

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